All posts by Jen Thorpe

NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen



BuzzFeed’s newest podcast is called NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen.  It can be found on the BuzzFeed website on the same page as the rest of BuzzFeed’s podcasts.  The podcast is hosted by BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith. As you may have guessed, his Twitter handle is @BuzzFeedBen.

NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen is described as “conversations on the intersection of politics, media, and technology – and all of 2017’s insanity.” To me, this implies that the podcast is intended to close at the end of 2017. Or, perhaps it will continue into 2018 and slightly change its description.

The very first episode features David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He is also the Senior Political Commentator at CNN, and was the Chief Strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

The first episode of NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen is a continuation of a conversation between Ben Smith and David Axelrod that was episode 136 of David Axelrod’s podcast The Axe Files with David Axelrod.  This means you need to listen to that specific episode of The Axe Files with David Axelrod before you listen to the first episode of NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen if you want to hear the entire conversation.

The second episode of Ben Smith’s podcast is an interview with Charlie Warzel. He is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News, and reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.


Con Before the Storm Prepares for its 5th Anniversary



Con Before The Storm is a fantastic, fun, pre-Blizzcon event that is for fans of video game podcasts, streamers, and pro esports teams, and artists that make game related artwork. The event is on Kickstarter with a funding goal of $14,000. At the time I am writing this blog, they have raised $12,040.

Con Before the Storm started out as a podcasting event that featured podcasts that focused on video games made by Blizzard Entertainment. The event has grown every year, and will have its fifth anniversary this year.

People can attend the event for free. The Kickstarter is intended to raise money to pay for at least three conference rooms, which will include their Art Gallery, Meet & Greet, World of Podcasts, a photobooth, and bartenders to serve the party-goers. The World of Podcast portion of Con Before the Storm typically includes panel discussions featuring hosts and co-hosts of podcasts about Blizzard’s games.

If Con Before the Storm raises their goal of $14,000, they will begin working on some stretch goals. The first stretch goal is $16,500, so they will be able to host the Frogpants and Amove.tv meetup. The next stretch goal is $19,000, which will allow them to move their Meet & Greet into a ballroom, and to put World of Podcasts into its own room.

Assuming they raise the money they need, Con Before the Storm will take place on Thursday, November 2, 2017, in Anaheim, California. The event has always taken place the night before Blizzcon. A person does not have to be attending Blizzcon in order to attend Con Before the Storm.


Podcast Movement 2017 Announced More Speakers



Podcast Movement 2017 will take place in Anaheim, California, on August 23-25. The event has a habit of slowly announcing who the keynote speakers will be.

Earlier this year, Podcast Movement 2017 announced that Dan Carlin, host of the Hardcore History and Common Sense podcasts, would be a speaker. Recently, Podcast Movement 2017 announced more keynote speakers.

Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson are the hosts of Undisclosed.  All three hosts will be keynote speakers for Podcast Movement 2017.

The Undisclosed Podcast investigates wrongful convictions, and the U.S. Criminal justice system, by taking a closer look at the perpetration of a crime, its investigation, the trial, and the ultimate verdict… and finding new evidence that never made it to court. Undisclosed is now in its third season. The hosts went from having no podcast experience to having one of the most popular shows in the world with millions of downloads.

Shannon Cason, who preformed at SXSW in Austin in March of this year, will be a keynote speaker at Podcast Movement 2017. He is the host of Homemade Storieswhich partnered with WBEZ Chicago for the 2014-2015 season. Shannon Cason is a storyteller and writer, and is originally from Detroit.


Senator Bernie Sanders has a Podcast



Senator Bernie Sanders, who became very popular with progressive voters in the 2016 election, now has his own podcast. It is called The Bernie Sanders Show. The first episode was released on March 26, 2017, but it wasn’t officially announced until April 7, 2017.

The announcement was done in the form of a tweet on Bernie Sanders verified Twitter account:

Engadget reported that The Bernie Sanders Podcast is the podcast version of his Facebook Live stream. This is good news for people who are interested in what Senator Sanders has to say, but do not use Facebook.

If you look at the iTunes listing for The Bernie Sanders Podcast, you will find that the link for “podcast website” takes you directly to Senator Sander’s official U.S. Senate website. A section of the website functions as a minimalistic show notes page for the podcast. The description of the podcast says:

Election days come and go, but political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. Listen to The Bernie Sanders Show to stay informed on the political revolution, our focus for a fight for a progressive agenda and how Bernie and others are fighting back against the Trump administration and its efforts to divide us up.

At the time I am writing this, The Bernie Sanders Podcast has released four episodes, all of which are interviews with people progressive voters would recognize. This includes Rev. William Barber, Bill Nye, Josh Fox, and Jane Mayer.


PowerPress Tops One Million Downloads



PowerPress is a free podcast publishing tool from Blubrry that powers more podcasts worldwide than any other plugin. On March 10, 2017, PowerPress surpassed one million downloads.

PowerPress was launched in 2008 and quickly became the most popular plugin on the market. Approximately 18 percent of all podcasts found on iTunes use PowerPress, more than any other service or platform. The plugin now powers more than 65,000 podcast websites ranging from single podcasts to radio stations and podcast networks, the biggest having more than 600 shows on a single install.

There are many reasons why PowerPress has been downloaded 6 times as much as any other podcasting plugin. Perhaps the most important is the ease of use and all-in-one experience it allows.

For thousands of podcasters, PowerPress has served as a free, easy-to-use introduction to the top notch services Blubrry provides. But, the real magic happens when PowerPress is used in tandem with other Blubrry products, such as hosting and professional podcast stats. The products work seamlessly together, allowing podcasters to create, publish, and distribute their podcasts – plus share new episodes on social media and check analytics – all without leaving their WordPress dashboard.


Mental Floss Founders Leave to Develop Podcasts



Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur are the co-founders of Mental Floss.  The print publication of Mental Floss has ended, but the website continues. The Mental Floss site gets 15 million to 20 million unique visitors each month (and an additional 30 million monthly video views). AdWeek reported that Will Pearson said “The company’s at a good place to pass it along.”

Mental Floss is the international media brand that gives smart, curious knowledge junkies their fix with upbeat, witty explorations of everything from science to pop culture to tech to history. They specialize in finding the most fascinating elements of everything their readers want to learn more about, and they illuminate the news you thought you already knew all about.

HowStuffWorks got started in 1998 at a college professor’s kitchen table. They have grown to become an award-winning source of unbiased, reliable, easy-to-understand answers and explanations of how the world actually works. HowStuffWorks creates written content, videos, and podcasts.

Mangesh Hattikudur and Will Pearson will be launching a new podcast under the HowStuffWorks banner. It will be released in May. There hasn’t been any specific details about what this new podcast will be about, but in an interview with AdWeek, the two Mental Floss co-founders expressed an interest in experimenting with what a “knowledge podcast” can be.


Pregnant Pause – A Couple Ponders Becoming Parents



Do you want to have kids? That question is one that most, if not all, couples grapple with. It is an intensely personal discussion that can be extremely emotional. Pregnant Pause allows you to listen in as a couple works through the process of deciding whether or not to have kids.

Pregnant Pause is hosted and produced by Zak Rosen and Shira Heisler, who are a married couple. The podcast is described as “their intimate account of making the most important decision of their lives (so far).” Zak Rosen is a Detroit-based story maker who was a founding producer of WDET’s Detroit Today.

The phrase “pregnant pause” refers to a situation where no one is speaking – but there is this awareness that someone is about to share thoughts that are extremely important. The implication is that those unexpressed thoughts are controversial, or emotionally heavy, and perhaps life changing.

Pregnant Pause is a series of discussions a couple had with each other, and with friends, family, writers, and scientists. Listeners must wait until the eight-episode series reveals whether or not Zak Rosen and Shira Heisler decided to have a baby. Assuming, of course, that answer is revealed by the end of the series. The couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this podcast than Pregnant Pause.

The first episode of Pregnant Pause was released on March 17, 2017, (following a trailer). New episodes are released every Friday. The episodes were created over the past year, and took several hundred hours to produce. Pregnant Pause is made in partnership with Pineapple Street Media, a Brooklyn-based podcast company.


Forbes Sports Money Podcast Now on PodcastOne



PodcastOne has launched a new program in the Forbes on PodcastOne series. Forbes Sports Money joins Forbes podcasts that had been previously released on PodcastOne this year: The Forbes Interview, Forbes Under 30, and Forbes Lists.

Forbes Sports Money is hosted by Forbes Executive Editor, Mike Ozanian. He speaks with team owners, athletes, and industry leaders about the money and enterprise born of supreme athletic competitions. The podcast gives listeners an in-depth look at the business of sport.

Mike Ozanian is also a co-host on the TV version of Forbes Sports Money (which is obviously what the podcast was derived from). The TV show is a four-time New York Emmy Award winning television on the YES network. If you like the Forbes Sports Money TV show, it seems very likely that you will also enjoy the podcast. Forbes Sports Money will release a new episode every Thursday.

At the time I am posting this blog, Forbes Sports Money has released six episodes (and a trailer). The first episode is titled “Highest-Paid Athletes of All Time”. Host Mike Ozanian is joined by guest Kurt Badenhausen, who is a senior editor at Forbes. The most recent episode is titled “Jeanie Buss: All About The Lakers and Its Legacy”. In that episode, host Mike Ozanian is joined by President and part owner of the Lakers, Jeanie Buss.


Vox Media Hired Nishat Kurwa to Develop Podcasts



Vox has hired Nishat Kurwa to be its first executive producer of audio. She will be responsible for developing podcasts for the company’s portfolio of brands, both current and future. This includes all eight of Vox’s properties, which include Eater, Vox, SB Nation, Polygon and The Verge.

Nicholas Quah from Hot Pod reports that Nishat Kurwa will move from Los Angeles to New York for this job, and that she will be reporting to Vox Media president Marty Moe. He also points out some of the complexities with Vox’s podcasts, stating that they are spread out over several brands and according to considerably different configurations.

The production for Vox.com’s podcasts, for example, is being handled by Panoply, with those shows hosted on its Megaphone platform as a result. Meanwhile, Recode’s podcast are supported by DGital Media with Art19 hosting, and that site still appears to be hunting for a dedicated executive producer of audio. The Verge, Polygon, Eater, Curbed, and SB Nation – though not Racked, alas – all have various podcast products of their own, but they all appear to be produced, marketed, and distributed individually according to their own specific brand infrastructures.

Nishat Kurwa is a 15-year vet of the radio industry. She served most recently as senior digital producer of Marketplace at American Public Media. She also has had roles at KCBS FM in San Francisco, and was the news director and senior producer at Youth Radio.